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Did you know…

  1. The donut or doughnut is a deep-fried piece of dough or batter. It comes from the Dutch origin of olykoeck or “oily cake”. The two most common types of donuts are the flattened sphere (you know…the ones that are injected with jelly or custard) and the ring donut.
  2.  Internationally, Dunkin’ Donuts has over 1700 locations in 29 countries and over 6,000 stores in 30 countries world-wide! In the U.S. there are over 4,400 locations across 36 states.
  3. Krispy Kreme is probably best known for their fresh, hot, glazed, yeast-raised doughnuts. The company’s “Hot Doughnuts Now” flashing sign is an integral part of the brands appeal and fame.
  4.  Jelly-filled and Chocolate frosted also rank as their top sellers. Coconut Crunch, although not a number one seller, still remains one of the over 52 varieties of donuts the chain produces on a yearly basis.
  5. Americans consume 10 billion doughnuts annually. It really is too big of a number when you consider that as of 1997, there were 6,792 doughnut shops in the U.S. alone. In 2005, I can only imagine that the number of doughnut shops has increased dramatically. Unfortunately, 1997 was the last year that all overall statistics and data is available on this subject (or at least that I can find!).


Today’s Food History

  • 1784 Marie-Antoine Carême was born in Paris, France. Marie Antoine Carême was known as “the cook of kings and the king of cooks”. He is the founder and architect of French haute cuisine. His story is one out of a Dickens novel.
  • He was one of 25 (?) children born to an impoverished family who put him out on the street at the age of about 10 to make his own way in the world. Lucky for the world he knocked on the door of a restaurant for a job. He might have knocked on the door of a blacksmith!
  • By the age of 21 Carême was chef de cuisine to Talleyrand. He also served as head chef to the future George IV of England, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, and Baron James de Rothschild. He wrote several large books on cookery, with hundreds of recipes and menus, a history of French cooking, instructions for organizing kitchens, and directions for elaborate architectural constructions of food for display (pièces montées). Carême died at the age of 48.
  • 1786 In New York City, the first commercially made ice cream is offered for sale.
  • 1824 A washing machine was patented by Noah Cushing of Quebec. This was the first Canadian patent ever issued.
  • 1848 Franklin Hiram King was born. American agricultural scientist and inventor of the cylindrical tower silo.
  • 1859 Walter Hunt died. Hunt invented the first safety pin (‘dress pin’) in 1849.
  • 1869 The first American patent for a sweeping machine was issued to Ives W. McGaffney of Chicago.
  • 1871 Louisa Tetrazzini born. Italian operatic soprano. Chicken Tetrazzini, created by an American chef (San Francisco?), was named in her honor.
  • 1880 At the 1st International Miller’s Exhibition in Cincinnati, Ohio, Washburn Crosby Co. of Minnesota (forerunner of General Mills) won 3 top medals for their flour, including the ‘Gold Medal’ for Superlative Flour. They adopted ‘Gold Medal’ as the name of their best flour.
  • 1926 Dame Nelle Melba gave her farewell performance. Melba toast and Peach Melba were named in her honor.
  • 1937 World’s largest flower blooms in NY Botanical Garden, a 12 foot calla lily.
  • 1985 Creme Fraiche won the Belmont Stakes, ridden by Jockey Eddie Maple.

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